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Products that Frustrate – Gallons of Un-Sweet Tea

There are products in the grocery store that make me shake my head, and wonder why. Gallons of un-sweetened tea is a product I just don’t understand.
gallons of unsweet tea

Products that frustrate – gallons of unsweetened tea

Some things are so simple to make, tea, even iced tea would be an example of a product that is very simple to make. To make tea you need some tea, boiling water, and 2 minutes for the tea to steep. You can even purchase cold tea bags that you don’t even need to boil water, and then let the tea steep. I know people that purchase pre-made tea on a regular basis, and I can’t help to ask them why.

There really are advantages to making your own tea, if you like it stronger, you will add an extra bag or two to the water as it steeps to make it extra strong. Maybe you like tea that isn’t so strong so you would add some additional water to the tea to make it less strong. By making your own tea you are drinking tea that hasn’t been made shelf stable with preservatives to keep it from fermenting. It also costs pennies, yes, pennies to make your own tea at home.

I understand that sometimes you may have a picnic and you may want to bring a gallon or two of this pre-made iced tea. I understand that if you are going to a pot luck dinner you may want to bring this to drink. Why would you buy this as a regular grocery store item? I want to cry out to people, please, make some iced tea, it isn’t difficult to do.

How to make Iced Tea

2 cups of boiling water
1 2 quart picture filled with ice
2 to 4 regular sized tea bags

Place tea bags into the 2 cups of boiling water, and allow to steep for 2 minutes. When tea is done steeping, remove bags, and pour tea over ice.

Folks, that’s it. You may make your tea differently, the folks at TeaGschwendner told me to make iced tea like this about 2 years ago, and I found that my tea tastes best when made like this. I also like to use loose tea when I can, but honestly plain old bags of Liptons, Tetley, or any other brand of tea bag is far superior to what you can buy in a plastic jug.

I am sure I will continue to roll my eyes when friends of mine purchase these jugs of swill. We will continue to have this conversation, I will offer to make them tea, and I will be turned down. If you have never made tea before, please, please give it a try, I promise, it is cheaper, and tastes better to make your own fresh tea.

  • larodriguez

    I agree 100%. Especially in the summer when you can use all those flavored Celestial Teas. My favorites are Blueberry, Raspberry and Peach. YUM!

  • Starluther

    We travel on motorcycle a lot, and gallon tea is great when we stop for the evening. We will stop and get tea, fruit, cheese, loaf of french bread, and some deli meat, and have a picnic, and have the left overs as a midnight snack.
    At home we use our Bunn Coffee maker for the best tea ever, 4 minutes and a gallon of tea is made and ready for the day. Love my Bunn Maker.

  • Starluther

    We travel on motorcycle a lot, and gallon tea is great when we stop for the evening. We will stop and get tea, fruit, cheese, loaf of french bread, and some deli meat, and have a picnic, and have the left overs as a midnight snack.
    At home we use our Bunn Coffee maker for the best tea ever, 4 minutes and a gallon of tea is made and ready for the day. Love my Bunn Maker.

  • Lsmith1079

    In Oklahoma we can only buy Lipton, Tetley, Cains. Red Diamond is what is sold only in the gallon jugs. Red Diamond in the bags were brought to me by my daughter & son-in-law when they went to Alabama this summer. I make sun tea, love it. I will be purchasing it on-line when I run out of what they brought me. I’m not lazy just like great tasting tea….The first 3 listed just don’t cut it.

  • heather

    i can’t believe how many people said making tea is too time consuming for “busy people”. i mean, honestly, how long does it take to boil water and open tea bags?! you can even do other things around the house while you wait for the boiling and steeping to happen. you can drink it at your convenience if you’re worried about how long that takes. c’mon, people.

    p.s. i believe you would put the tea in a pitcher. a picture may not be the best choice for holding liquids.

  • Renee

    I have an iced tea maker (which I got at a yard sale for cheap) but this seems even easier! I don’t even have to dig out the iced tea maker! Love it and thanks for the heads up!!!

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  • Anna

    Your title made me smile and I had to leave a comment. My mom is from Georgia and my siblings and I all grew up on “Sweet Tea”. My brother and I agree that the best cup is that first warm glass of freshly made tea before it has cooled off.

    Yet, I married a man who prefers tea without sugar! He learned to make sweet tea just for me ;) That’s true love!

  • Lisa

    I must say, I totally agree with you, but I have to share my reasoning for buying this pre-made tea. I think my #1 reason is that I like the diet tea containing Splenda, and Splenda is so expensive in the package (about $6/pack) that I hate using the quantity needed to sweeten a pitcher of tea because I think it is costing so much to do so! Okay, now I know that’s illogical. If a gallon of premade Splenda-sweetened tea is $1.99, to make my purchase worth it, I would need to spend less than $2 to sweeten my own gallon of homemade-tea. Since I have not tried this (ah, laziness is the real reason here!), I don’t know how much Splenda a gallon of tea would require and am not sure about the cost, but I’d be willing to bet it would be under $2 (thus, confirming your point!)

    Another reason I like to buy the tea is that I am truly so busy (major work at my job right now,3 kids and a husband) that I just love the convenience. And I reason that, since tea is a good antioxidant, and since I won’t make it and thus won’t be drinking it unless I buy it, that buying it is a good idea.

    Now, I could have made a fresh gallon of tea instead of writing this, couldn’t I? But it was fun, and what’s life without a bit of play and reading about the best recipes out there?! :-) Happy New Year!

  • Troy Tollard

    How about the Diabetics who cannot have real sugars?

    • Cindy

      Troy, I make iced tea using Splenda. I grew up on good ol’ Southern Sweet tea, so I use about a cup of Splenda per gallon.

  • Jon Hoppe

    I have been making my own tea for years and love the fact that you can constantly change up recipes to match the season or what ever may be in bloom. It takes little effort to make and if it does not work out just dump and start over… Friends cant believe its so simple.

  • Fredericka

    That tea on the shelf has potassium sorbate added as a preservative. I prefer to make my own tea and avoid preservatives when I am able. It really isn’t difficult – just make what you will drink within a couple of days. And, by doing so, you will cut down on the unbelievable tons of plastic bottles in our landfills.

  • http://www.kitchenparade.com Alanna Kellogg

    No kidding! WHY do we buy this stuff, are we SO rich or SO lazy or SO ill-informed?

    Thanks for the technique, I usually just do the “sit it in the sun for a couple of hours” technique but I like this one too, will definitely try!

  • Judy

    The exceptions are:

    USE IT FOR CAMPING
    FOR SCHOOL PARTIES FOR TEACHERS
    BASEBALL GAMES

    MOMS HAVE ENOUGH TO GO WITHOUT STEEPING TEA AND THIS TEA COMES WITH A CONTAINER

    • http://www.copykat.com Stephanie

      So for some of these uses, I have purchased containers that keep beverages cool, and brought tea in them ;) I do a fair amount of cooking for large groups and I just buy the cold tea bags, and pop them into containers, this works very well. But I understand, busy moms, and other busy people sometimes buy pre-made tea. Re-useable thermos bottles, and those cold tea bags do wonders, no steeping needed.

  • JM

    I TOTALLY AGREE. WE DRINK AT LEAST 3 GALLONS OF TEA A WEEK. HOMEMADE TEA IS THE BESTEST.

  • Tina G

    Well I would recognize an HEB tag anywhere, so I know your in Texas! Awesome…

    • http://www.copykat.com Stephanie

      That’s right, I am in Texas ;)

  • Charla

    How long will homemade tea last in the refrigerator? I have read it does not keep as long as the store bought gallons. I buy them because it is convenient to have it in the fridge whenever I want some. If I knew for sure a gallon I made myself would still be good a week or two later I would be more likely to make it myself.

    • http://www.copykat.com Stephanie

      I leave mine in the refrigerator for about 2 days before I poor it out and start over again.

      • Schnauzer235

        And it looks like that’s why some people buy the pre made tea, who would have guessed that some people who don’t mind coughing up an extra dollar or two for a jug of tea get the convenience of not having to make it 4 times a week, when they can buy it once and not worry about it for 2 weeks go figure.

    • Judy

      Tea will last a good three days on the counter if you buy the cheapest Tea on the market. All big name brands sour. GO FIGURE…

    • Tam

      A good gallon of sweet tea never lasts more than 8 hours in my household on a hot weekend in the summer. Between myself, husband and teenage son we can put a gallon away in a day or less. So I’d have no clue how long it would last! haha.

  • Lisa

    And a pinch of baking soda will take out any bitterness!

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